Lithuania

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McCain Joins Ukraine Advisory Committee Headed By Georgia's Fugitive Ex-President





John McCain may find himself 'back in the (former) USSR' more frequently as the Senator landed on Ukrainian President Poroshenko's list of advisers along with former Georgian President (and current fugitive) Miheil Saakashvili. This should give McCain an opportunity to realize his dream of turning the 'conflict' with Russia into a proper war that self-respecting hawks can be proud of.

 
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America's Achilles' Heel





Instead of collapsing quietly, the US has decided to pick a fight with Russia. It appears to have already lost the fight, but a question remains: How many more countries will the US manage to destroy before the reality of its inevitable defeat and disintegration finally catches up with it? As Putin said last summer when speaking at the Seliger youth forum, “I get the feeling that no matter what the Americans touch, they end up with Libya or Iraq.” But there is another question that deserves to be asked: Do the Americans “touch” themselves? Because if they do, then the next candidate for extreme makeover into a bombed-out wasteland might be the United States itself...

 
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Un-Pax Americana: Where One Can Find US Special Ops Around The Globe





Over the past year, special-operations forces have landed in 81 countries.

 
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EU Formally (And Spitefully) Files Anti-Trust Charges Against Gazprom





With talks between Greece and its creditors expected to go mostly nowhere in Riga later this week, and with speculation about an energy deal between Athens and Moscow (i.e. the precursor to the dreaded "Russian pivot") looking less like speculation and more like reality with each passing day, Europe is going the spite route by filing anti-trust charges against Gazprom.

 
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Frontrunning: April 21





  • The Fed Still Wants Easy Money (BBG) - you don't say
  • ECB Is Studying Curbs on Greek Bank Support (BBG)
  • Banks Paid to Borrow as Three-Month Euribor Drops Below Zero (BBG)
  • Baoding Tianwei is first state-owned Chinese enterprise to default (Reuters)
  • Major Chinese Developer Says It Can’t Pay Dollar Debts (BBG)
  • Wall Street Has No Idea How Much Money Venezuela Has (BBG)
  • Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Find Different Paths to Profits (WSJ)
  • Does the Collapse of a Chinese Developer Signal the Start of More Defaults? (BBG)
  • Retail Traders Wield Social Media for Investing Fame (WSJ)
 
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NATO Conducts First Test Of "Russia Rapid Response Force"





"NATO completed the first military drills for its new rapid reaction force. From Tuesday through Thursday, more than 1,500 troops took part in exercise 'Noble Jump,' designed to test whether troops assigned to NATO’s new Spearhead Force, or Very High Joint Readiness Task Force, could be ready to deploy 48 hours after receiving an order-to-move." In other words: NATO could deploy troops to counter Russian "aggression" within 2 days.

 
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What is the ECB Buying?





A  simple discussion of what the ECB is buying and some of the potential implications.

 
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Beyond Iran And Pakistan: 7 Nuclear Wannabes





While fear still lingers of a nuclear catastrophe on a similar scale as Fukushima, or earlier accidents such as Three Mile Island or Chernobyl, that hasn’t stopped a slew of countries from moving forward on plans to develop nuclear plants as an adjunct to existing power sources like hydro, coal, natural gas and good ol’ oil. Especially in developing countries that lack access to fossil fuels, nuclear is seen as a viable and cost-effective form of baseload power.

 
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The EU's Stalinesque "4 Year Plan"





This anti-capitalistic mentality has brought about today’s essentially bankrupt “middle of the road” welfare state system, in which governments and big business are in a tight embrace that utterly deadens economic progress. The EU’s latest “Four Year Plan” is yet another in a long list of examples of this prototypical continental tradition (incidentally, Europe’s moribund banking system is one of the end results of these economic policies as well). What is really required is a return to free market principles, not yet another “government plan”.

 
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NATO's Not Enough! President Juncker Calls For Creation Of European Army To "React Credibly" To Russia





No lessor official than European Commission President (and liar-when-it's-serious) Jean-Claude Juncker has called for the creation of an EU army... in order to show Russia "that [The EU is] serious about defending European values." Juncker explained an EU army would "help us fulfil Europe's responsibilities in the world," arguing that NATO was not enough since not all EU members are part of the alliance. As one stunned euro-skeptic exclaimed, "we have all seen the utter mess the EU has made of the economy, so how can we even think of trusting them with its defence."

 
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NYC Residents Pay $2-3,000 A Month For “Micro-Apartments” As Luxury Car Sales Outpace Regular Car Sales





It’s an oligarch’s world, you’re just living in it. One of the main reasons that hyper-luxury cars are outselling regular cars, is because all of the wealth gains from the oligarch recovery are going to, well, oligarchs ... Global policies implemented since the oligarch created financial melt-down, have been used to cover up its criminality, and further advance the status quo’s consolidation of wealth and power. A continuation of this trend presents the greatest threat to liberty, free markets and an evolution of human consciousness on the planet today.

 
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Provocation? NATO Conducts Military Maneuvers 300 Yards From Russia's Border





When a Russian bomber flew over international waters some 25 miles off the southwest tip of England last week, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon called Russia "a real and present danger." The UK government scrambled jet fighters to meet the Russian aircraft as a show of force.

Yet yesterday US combat vehicles conducted a military parade and show of military force just 300 yards -- yards! -- from the Russian border.

 
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